Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!
This post is part of our Endnotes series.
That pine and mountain view above is in Squamish, British Columbia — a.k.a., the adventure capital of Canada. To get there, you travel along the poetically named Sea-to-Sky Highway and into the Coast Mountains. Once you’re there, you can go hiking, mountain biking, tour an old copper mine, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola, or walk across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge. And after all that, s’mores and a great book around a campfire sounds pretty good, right? Here are Culture Trip’s top things to do in Squamish.
Sorta related: Before Camping Got Wimpy: Roughing It With the Victorians. ‘At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, many families camped in relative luxury, traveling on modern railways to arrive at a site with fully furnished tents already erected for them, not unlike the mobile home vacationers of today… but a 1902 issue of Sunset… provided a series of tips for more primitive camping in California, mixing practical advice with romantic interludes on life in the wilderness.’
This is an excellent dramatic reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.
Talk about armchair travel! The beautiful videos on Virtual Vacation let you walk and drive through — or fly over — destinations in 50+ countries around the world. There are also live video feeds from 12 sweet destinations, including Venice, Oxford, and California’s Santa Monica Pier.
Sorta related: We’re excited to be part of Maps.fm. It’s an app and website that maps individual podcast episodes and radio stories to locations around the world. You can browse via an interactive map or search for specific destinations.
Also somewhat related: Books Around America lets you search for books via zipcode or place name to find books set in the United States. There are also a ton of fun book-related stats.
Forget the Met Gala. I want to time-travel back to Alva Vanderbilt’s Party of the Century. Eccentric rich people + costumes = amazing photos.
Feel infused with life force by reading this advice from Kurt Vonnegut. (Click through to read the thread.)
In 2006 a high school English teacher asked students to write a famous author & ask for advice & Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to respond & his response was a doozy:— Gabe Hudson (@gabehudson) May 2, 2022
This is cool behind-the-scenes info: Translator Hannah Chute talks about the challenges and rewards of translating comics from French to English.
Artist Heather Benning transformed an abandoned farmhouse into a life-size dollhouse. The result is compelling and a little bit sinister. Don’t miss the short film on the artist’s website; it’s a doozy! (Whoa: Field Doll.)
Public service announcement: Stop Reclining Your Seat on Airplanes.
This essay about the magic and responsibility of novels’ first sentences is a delight. ‘For a long time, the first sentence went to bed early, waiting discreetly under the cover of the book for someone to come and wake it up. Novel opened, first sentence awakened, it stood firmly in the front row to welcome readers with the heavy responsibility of taking them into a new world.’
There are so many literary adaptations I want to see on this list. The Essex Serpent and the new Bosch? Yes, please.
This penguin is a vibe, and I am feeling it.
What Dinner Will Look Like in the Next 100 Years, According to Scientists (and Sci-Fi Authors). This starts with predictions from scientists about what to expect in the next few decades. Then four science fiction writers were invited to imagine what we’ll be eating 100 years from now. Can I interest you in ‘3D-printed tortilla chips made from hydroponic black bean paste, with cell-cloned cheese sauce and jalapeños, all sourced from aerial farms in the upper atmosphere of Venus’?
I will never get tired of photos of Victorian ladies climbing mountains in their long skirts, enormous hats, and lace-up boots.
This is a thoughtful, deep dive into the history of interactive storytelling, from the I Ching to Choose Your Own Adventure novels to video games.
A new version of the Orient Express Train is coming to Italy in 2023. The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will make stops in Rome, Florence, and Milan, as well as Istanbul, Paris, and the Croatian port of Split. ‘You’ll be able to go truffle hunting in Piedmont in the morning, then to the theater in Milan in the evening, and off to visit a tiny village in the Sicilian countryside the following day.’
This train ride isn’t luxurious, but it is surprisingly touching.
Accidentally perfect advertisement for trains pic.twitter.com/qC0kCEAd3k— 21st Century City (@urbanthoughts11) February 20, 2022
In each 5-minute show, we share two new book releases that are at the top of our TBR. Then we delve into a book- or travel-related curiosity that’s worth your time. Get all the episodes and books galore here.
In this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo and Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story in Music Lessons by Jeremy Denk. Then we talk about an exhibit at the New York Public Library featuring art from a new graphic novel.
Top image courtesy of Scott Goodwill/Unsplash.
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